Davis Takes Lead, Eyes Repeat At B.A.S.S. Nation Championship On Lake Hartwell

ANDERSON, S.C. — Will Davis Jr. hoisted the Bryan V. Kerchal Memorial Trophy a year ago, and by all accounts, it looks like he wants to hold on to the hardware that is awarded annually to the winner of the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship.

Will Davis Jr. of Sylacauga, Ala., is leading after Day 2 of the 2023 TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship at Lake Hartwell with a t

Davis, in second place after Day 1 with 16 pounds, 1 ounce, jumped into the pole position Thursday on Lake Hartwell with another five-bass limit, this one weighing 14-4. That gives the 31-year-old Sylacauga, Ala., resident a two-day total of 30-5 and a 3-pound cushion as the derby heads into the final day on this storied 56,000-acre fishery.

Davis is trying to defend the B.A.S.S. Nation title he won a year ago on Pickwick Lake in his home state. That win earned him a spot in the 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic in Knoxville and entry into the 2023 Bassmaster Elite Series. Davis impressed there, winning on Lay Lake in May and finishing fifth in the Dakota Lithium Bassmaster Rookie of the Year standings.

He’s continued his hot hand at Hartwell.

“I spent a lot of time after winning the championship last year getting used to forward-facing sonar,” Davis said. “You have to be able to do it in the Elite Series, and it’s definitely played a role this week.”

Davis only had eight bites on Day 2, catching six Hartwell spotted bass, but they were quality catches. All came on the same Davis Bait Company Wood Jig he used for his best bass a day earlier.

“That Wood Jig is my go-to for big bass,” he said. “I’m not catching a lot of fish, which is frustrating. But I’m getting the right bites.”

Friday’s weather is supposed to be rainy and windy, which Davis said might force him to change tactics.

“I’ll probably have to throw out a spinnerbait more tomorrow,” he said. “But I won’t change up too much. I think I’m on the right fish. I just have to get them to bite.”

The field of 58 boaters was whittled to 10 after the Day 2 weigh-in at Green Pond Landing.

Wisconsin’s Josh Wiesner jumped from ninth place to second in the boater division, courtesy of a 13-12 limit on Thursday, giving him 27-4 for the tournament.

“The bite was fairly steady throughout the day, but it really started getting active at the end of the day when the wind picked up,” Wiesner said. “I caught my biggest one with about a minute to go today. It was about 3 3/4 pounds and probably a 2-pound upgrade for me.”

Day 1 leader Tim Dube fell to third place in the angler division Thursday after catching an 11-pound limit to give him a two-day total of 27-3.

Unlike Wednesday, when hard-hitting spotted bass were gobbling Dube’s lures, Thursday was much more difficult for the 29-year-old New Hampshire resident.

“They weren’t committing to the bait today,” he said. “Every fish I hooked, it was in the corner of the mouth or barely in the lip. I lost more fish than I can count. But I’m getting past that. It’s good to know the fish are still there.

“I like the way tomorrow’s weather is looking for my bite. I want some cloud cover because they’ll school better.”

Rounding out the Top 10 boaters fishing Friday are Michigan’s Nic Rand, 26-14; fifth, Zach Taylor, who’s fishing for Wyoming, 26-11; sixth, South Africa’s Andrew Nienaber, 26-5; seventh, Brian La Clair, fishing for Delaware, 26-1; eighth, Missouri’s Cole Findley, 25-6; ninth, Alabama’s Zeke Gossett, 24-11; and 10th, Maine’s Jonathan Carter, 23-10.

Hayden Spradling of Gilbert, Ariz., won the nonboater title Thursday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 18 pounds. He collected the Louis “Pee Wee” Powers Memorial Trophy for being the top nonboater, as well as a $10,000 prize and a spot in Friday’s final round.

It’s the second time Spradling has competed in the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, having qualified previously in 2020.

“That experience made me a lot more headstrong about getting to this point, to be able to win,” he said. “I had to throw a little bit of everything this week to win the nonboater (division) and give myself a chance to fish on the last day.”

Kyle Klein, of Kansas, won $500 for the Big Bass among nonboaters (a 4-8 he hooked Wednesday.)

Nevada’s Cody Steckel (12th overall, 23-5) and Colorado’s Nate Caldwell (13th, 23-4) also will fish on Friday, after leading their respective regionals in the Hartwell boater standings.

A total of 113 B.A.S.S. Nation anglers from 48 states and eight other countries are competing at Hartwell.

The remaining 13 anglers will start the third and final day of the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship at 7:30 a.m. ET from Green Pond Landing. Weigh-in is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m. Full coverage will be available on Bassmaster.com.

The top three anglers will earn berths in the 2024 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic, which is scheduled for March 22-24 on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees near Tulsa, Okla. The champion will also receive an invitation to fish the 2024 Bassmaster Elite Series. The second- and third-place finishers and Spradling will each earn paid entry fees for all divisions of the St. Croix Bassmaster Opens with the opportunity to qualify for the Elites.

Visit Anderson is hosting the event.

2023 B.A.S.S. Nation Title Sponsor: TNT Fireworks

2023 B.A.S.S. Nation Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2023 B.A.S.S. Nation Premier Sponsors: Bass Pro Shops, Dakota Lithium, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Progressive Insurance, Ranger Boats, Rapala, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha
2023 B.A.S.S. Nation Supporting Sponsors: AFTCO, Daiwa, Garmin, Lew’s, Marathon, Triton Boats, VMC

Connect with #Bassmaster on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting-edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, St. Croix Bassmaster Opens Series, TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Strike King Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Strike King Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Team Championship, Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series powered by TourneyX, Yamaha Bassmaster Redfish Cup Championship presented by Skeeter and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic.

2023 TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship 10/18-10/20
Lake Hartwell, Anderson SC.
(BOATER) Standings Day 2

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Will Davis Jr Sylacauga, AL 10 30-05 0
Day 1: 5 16-01 Day 2: 5 14-04
2. Josh Wiesner Fon du Lac, WI 10 27-04 0
Day 1: 5 13-08 Day 2: 5 13-12
3. Timothy Dube Nashua, NH 10 27-03 0
Day 1: 5 16-03 Day 2: 5 11-00
4. Nic Rand Kalamazoo, MI 10 26-14 0
Day 1: 5 14-05 Day 2: 5 12-09
5. Zach Taylor Kimberly, ID 10 26-11 0
Day 1: 5 14-00 Day 2: 5 12-11
6. Andrew Nienaber Cape Town Western Cape 10 26-05 0
Day 1: 5 14-07 Day 2: 5 11-14
7. Brian La Clair Denton, MD 10 26-01 0
Day 1: 5 10-09 Day 2: 5 15-08
8. Cole Findley Forsyth, MO 10 25-06 0
Day 1: 5 11-15 Day 2: 5 13-07
9. Zeke Gossett Pell City, AL 10 24-11 0
Day 1: 5 11-04 Day 2: 5 13-07
10. Jonathan Carter Portland, ME 10 23-10 0
Day 1: 5 12-08 Day 2: 5 11-02
11. Taylor Umland Carlock, IL 10 23-08 0
Day 1: 5 12-13 Day 2: 5 10-11
12. Cody Steckel Las Vegas, NV 10 23-05 0
Day 1: 5 11-01 Day 2: 5 12-04
13. Nate Caldwell Fort Collins, CO 10 23-04 0
Day 1: 5 12-04 Day 2: 5 11-00
14. Aaron Green Everett, PA 10 22-08 0
Day 1: 5 11-07 Day 2: 5 11-01
15. Andrew Sams Easton, MD 10 22-06 0
Day 1: 5 14-08 Day 2: 5 07-14
16. Riley Nielsen Murray, UT 10 21-12 0
Day 1: 5 11-13 Day 2: 5 09-15
17. Austin Bonjour Templeton, CA 10 21-01 0
Day 1: 5 10-10 Day 2: 5 10-07
18. Dave Frost Mount Dora, FL 10 20-15 0
Day 1: 5 10-00 Day 2: 5 10-15
19. Troy Diede Sioux Falls, SD 10 20-14 0
Day 1: 5 09-14 Day 2: 5 11-00
20. Chris Moody Brooks, GA 10 20-10 0
Day 1: 5 14-03 Day 2: 5 06-07
21. Jess Pottenger Harrison, ID 10 20-10 0
Day 1: 5 10-13 Day 2: 5 09-13
22. BJ Baxter Willshire, OH 10 20-09 0
Day 1: 5 11-01 Day 2: 5 09-08
23. Jordan Card Knoxville, TN 10 20-03 0
Day 1: 5 11-01 Day 2: 5 09-02
24. Tyler Darling Rapid City, SD 9 19-15 0
Day 1: 5 13-12 Day 2: 4 06-03
25. Matthew Abeyta Albuquerque, NM 10 19-14 0
Day 1: 5 09-04 Day 2: 5 10-10
26. Kevin Walton Norfolk, VA 10 19-13 0
Day 1: 5 10-15 Day 2: 5 08-14
27. Tyler Ramsey Sand Springs, OK 10 19-07 0
Day 1: 5 11-10 Day 2: 5 07-13
28. Blake Wilson Benton, AR 10 19-02 0
Day 1: 5 12-00 Day 2: 5 07-02
29. Gary Pope Georgetown, SC 10 18-01 0
Day 1: 5 09-07 Day 2: 5 08-10
30. Marc Leech Kings Mountian , NC 10 17-15 0
Day 1: 5 07-15 Day 2: 5 10-00
31. Cody Hollen Beaverton, OR 10 17-14 0
Day 1: 5 10-02 Day 2: 5 07-12
32. Frankie Mueller Kingman, AZ 10 17-11 0
Day 1: 5 08-00 Day 2: 5 09-11
33. Jerry Pape Bella Vista, AR 10 16-15 0
Day 1: 5 05-10 Day 2: 5 11-05
34. Adam Hamann Prairie Du Chien, IA 9 16-13 0
Day 1: 5 09-03 Day 2: 4 07-10
35. Dustin Hollen Buckhannon, WV 10 16-10 0
Day 1: 5 06-13 Day 2: 5 09-13
36. Jay Swanson Lakeville, MN 10 16-10 0
Day 1: 5 08-10 Day 2: 5 08-00
37. Jurgen Geiger Luxury Hill Windoek NA 10 16-08 0
Day 1: 5 08-05 Day 2: 5 08-03
38. Manuel Cruz Clifton, NJ 10 16-07 0
Day 1: 5 08-12 Day 2: 5 07-11
39. Luis Tavares Mendes Cernache Do Bonjardim P 10 15-06 0
Day 1: 5 06-11 Day 2: 5 08-11
40. Byron Albrecht Waco, TX 9 15-03 0
Day 1: 5 08-12 Day 2: 4 06-07
41. Brian Hensley Edwardsburg, MI 10 15-02 0
Day 1: 5 08-05 Day 2: 5 06-13
42. Matthew Nobile Sorrento, LA 10 14-13 0
Day 1: 5 08-00 Day 2: 5 06-13
43. Sean Andrachick Marion, MT 9 14-12 0
Day 1: 4 05-10 Day 2: 5 09-02
44. Ken Day Kennewick, WA 10 14-07 0
Day 1: 5 07-00 Day 2: 5 07-07
45. Andrej Chowaniec Beeton Ontario CANADA 8 12-05 0
Day 1: 5 09-06 Day 2: 3 02-15
46. Michael Mello Jr Manville, RI 7 11-13 0
Day 1: 5 09-00 Day 2: 2 02-13
47. Lukas Matt Syracuse, NY 10 11-11 0
Day 1: 5 05-02 Day 2: 5 06-09
48. Chad Warnol Moss Point, MS 7 10-13 0
Day 1: 2 03-06 Day 2: 5 07-07
49. Thomas Waltz St. Albans, VT 6 10-01 0
Day 1: 1 01-05 Day 2: 5 08-12
50. Yoshi Komada Nishinomiya JAPAN 6 09-14 0
Day 1: 1 01-01 Day 2: 5 08-13
51. Mickey Soler Newington, CT 7 09-10 0
Day 1: 3 03-11 Day 2: 4 05-15
52. Andre Kondonis Harare ZIMBABWE 6 09-07 0
Day 1: 4 06-10 Day 2: 2 02-13
53. Jacob Marcantonio Moosup, CT 7 08-06 0
Day 1: 5 05-11 Day 2: 2 02-11
54. Jorge Trapero Barraza Culiac n Rosales TX MEX 5 07-11 0
Day 1: 2 02-11 Day 2: 3 05-00
55. Richard Young Jr Melbourne, KY 6 06-12 0
Day 1: 4 03-15 Day 2: 2 02-13
56. Oscar Gonzalez Barcelona SPAIN 4 06-06 0
Day 1: 2 02-11 Day 2: 2 03-11
57. Andy Gill Wellsville, KS 4 04-15 0
Day 1: 3 04-00 Day 2: 1 00-15
58. Jackie Barber West, TX 3 03-06 0
Day 1: 2 02-09 Day 2: 1 00-13
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day #Limits #Fish Weight
1 47 263 532-02
2 45 259 496-05
———————————-
92 522 1028-07

2023 TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Championship 10/18-10/20
Lake Hartwell, Anderson SC.
(NON_BOATER) Standings Day 2

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Hayden Spradling Gilbert, AZ 10 18-00 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 09-07 Day 2: 5 08-09
2. Richard White Alexander City, AL 10 17-13 0 $7,500.00
Day 1: 5 10-04 Day 2: 5 07-09
3. Tristan Garriga Lucedale, MS 10 16-11 0 $5,000.00
Day 1: 5 06-15 Day 2: 5 09-12
4. Cooper Haase Duncannon, PA 10 16-07 0 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 07-00 Day 2: 5 09-07
5. Larry Witt Evington, VA 8 16-01 0 $2,000.00
Day 1: 5 11-11 Day 2: 3 04-06
6. James D’Ambra Hanover, MA 10 15-13 0 $1,500.00
Day 1: 5 07-11 Day 2: 5 08-02
7. Kyle Klein Hutchinson, KS 8 15-08 0 $1,500.00
Day 1: 5 10-15 Day 2: 3 04-09
8. Gary Belanger Plainville, CT 10 14-15 0 $500.00
Day 1: 5 06-02 Day 2: 5 08-13
9. Cole Buser Moscow, ID 7 14-08 0 $500.00
Day 1: 5 13-00 Day 2: 2 01-08
10. Marshal Allen Greeley, CO 7 14-07 0 $500.00
Day 1: 4 07-15 Day 2: 3 06-08
11. Zachary Queeney Atco, NJ 9 14-01 0 $250.00
Day 1: 5 08-13 Day 2: 4 05-04
12. Edward Owens Hemingway, SC 8 14-00 0 $250.00
Day 1: 3 05-10 Day 2: 5 08-06
13. Ron Stierstorfer Middle River, MD 9 13-14 0
Day 1: 4 07-15 Day 2: 5 05-15
14. Keisuke Sakamoto Shiga JAPAN 8 13-10 0
Day 1: 4 07-00 Day 2: 4 06-10
15. Colten Hutson Edmond, OK 8 12-14 0
Day 1: 5 06-07 Day 2: 3 06-07
16. Joe Whelan Ozark, MO 9 12-02 0
Day 1: 5 06-10 Day 2: 4 05-08
17. Robert Rull Jr Coventry, RI 7 12-00 0
Day 1: 2 01-13 Day 2: 5 10-03
18. Grant Aumiller Danville, KY 6 11-15 0
Day 1: 5 10-05 Day 2: 1 01-10
19. Kin Pui Wong Bakersfield, CA 9 11-15 0
Day 1: 4 05-07 Day 2: 5 06-08
20. Dez Ruffin Tukwila, WA 7 11-11 0
Day 1: 2 01-13 Day 2: 5 09-14
21. Hunter Frederickson Redford, MI 10 11-11 0
Day 1: 5 06-10 Day 2: 5 05-01
22. James Seymour Oglesby, TX 8 11-03 0
Day 1: 3 04-05 Day 2: 5 06-14
23. Christian Hanson Rathdrum, ID 5 11-02 0
Day 1: 0 00-00 Day 2: 5 11-02
24. Dave Roberts Sisters, OR 8 11-02 0
Day 1: 5 08-06 Day 2: 3 02-12
25. Tristen Boyd Monteagle, TN 8 11-01 0
Day 1: 4 06-08 Day 2: 4 04-09
26. Andrew Sayles Middleton, ID 9 10-13 0
Day 1: 5 06-10 Day 2: 4 04-03
27. Matt Summers Gassaway, WV 8 10-06 0
Day 1: 3 03-13 Day 2: 5 06-09
28. Matt Luken Independence, KY 7 09-10 0
Day 1: 4 06-09 Day 2: 3 03-01
29. Dean Yamagata Las Vegas, NV 5 09-04 0
Day 1: 2 03-00 Day 2: 3 06-04
30. Jason Campbell Berwick, LA 7 08-13 0
Day 1: 3 03-08 Day 2: 4 05-05
31. Jesus Morales Apodaca Nuevo Leon MEX 6 08-13 0
Day 1: 3 04-11 Day 2: 3 04-02
32. David Pfeiffer Milton Mills, NH 5 08-06 0
Day 1: 1 01-05 Day 2: 4 07-01
33. Greg Pink Montrose, CO 5 08-00 0
Day 1: 0 00-00 Day 2: 5 08-00
34. Fernando Henriques Henriques Cernache Do Bonjardim P 5 07-08 0
Day 1: 1 00-15 Day 2: 4 06-09
35. Alex Ellerbrock Sugar Grove, IL 5 07-04 0
Day 1: 2 02-06 Day 2: 3 04-14
36. Mike Bell Ogdensburg, NY 4 07-02 0
Day 1: 0 00-00 Day 2: 4 07-02
37. Will Presley Jr Grove City, OH 5 06-12 0
Day 1: 2 02-02 Day 2: 3 04-10
38. Eric Moulton Enfield, NH 5 06-12 0
Day 1: 2 02-10 Day 2: 3 04-02
39. Bryan Schumacher Sparta, WI 4 06-10 0
Day 1: 4 06-10 Day 2: 0 00-00
40. Garrett Sicely Albany, VT 5 05-12 0
Day 1: 1 01-09 Day 2: 4 04-03
41. Miles Lausch Lakeville, MN 6 05-10 0
Day 1: 2 01-10 Day 2: 4 04-00
42. Tyler Guthmiller Yankton, SD 5 04-13 0
Day 1: 0 00-00 Day 2: 5 04-13
43. Agustin Pintado Salas El Burgo Del Ebro, Zara 3 04-07 0
Day 1: 3 04-07 Day 2: 0 00-00
44. Blake Macumber Elkhorn, NE 2 04-06 0
Day 1: 0 00-00 Day 2: 2 04-06
45. Neels Beneke Amanzimtoti SOUTH AFRIC 3 03-15 0
Day 1: 1 01-14 Day 2: 2 02-01
46. Brad Gandee Mcdonough, GA 3 03-09 0
Day 1: 2 01-10 Day 2: 1 01-15
47. Roger Foraker Magnolia, DE 2 02-15 0
Day 1: 1 01-12 Day 2: 1 01-03
48. Carl Bowser Indianapolis, IN 2 02-00 0
Day 1: 1 01-06 Day 2: 1 00-10
49. Leray Anderson II Crofton, NE 2 01-13 0
Day 1: 0 00-00 Day 2: 2 01-13
50. Jeremiah Proulx Cherokee Village, AR 1 01-11 0
Day 1: 1 01-11 Day 2: 0 00-00
51. Andrew Krauss Seabright CANADA 1 01-03 0
Day 1: 0 00-00 Day 2: 1 01-03
52. Grant Harris Maiden, NC 1 01-00 0
Day 1: 1 01-00 Day 2: 0 00-00
53. Gavin Fraser Bulawayo ZIMBABWE 1 00-14 0
Day 1: 1 00-14 Day 2: 0 00-00
54. Jerry Duncklee Fayette, IA 0 00-00 0
Day 1: 0 00-00 Day 2: 0 00-00
54. Claude Loftin Jacksonville, FL 0 00-00 0
Day 1: 0 00-00 Day 2: 0 00-00
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day #Limits #Fish Weight
1 16 151 240-10
2 17 175 263-15
———————————-
33 326 504-09

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